Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is it wrong for me to be taking 30 mg of zinc having one poorly functioning kidney?"
Had car accident 14 yrs ago & lost other kidney. Have recurring nasty back pain that keeps me largely immobile while occurring
Zinc supplementation is a common practice and is generally safe. However, in order to address particular concerns about zinc and its interactions with your kidney, it is important for you to schedule an appointment to see your doctor in order to discuss your individual concerns. The daily recommended amount of zinc intake is 2 to 13 mg per day. Most of this can be obtained through diet alone, such as by eating red meat, beans, whole grains, nuts, and oysters. However, if you are not reaching this level of zinc intake, supplementation is also an option. Zinc can help protect the kidney by reducing levels of a protein called angiotensin II, which normally acts by constricting the blood vessels that supply your kidney with blood. However, many zinc supplements also contain cadmium, which can damage the kidney. Additionally, one study has shown that taking over 100mg of zinc daily can increase the risk of developing prostate cancer, so I would of course recommend against taking this amount of zinc. To answer your question, I would recommend reducing your daily level of zinc intake to the recommended amount cited above. I would also check the ingredients in your supplement to see if cadmium is one of the metals contained in it, as this can damage the kidneys. Again, it is important for you to discuss your particular situation with your doctor, so that you can review all of the risks and benefits of zinc supplementation in you case.
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